I too had a wonderful experience at this year’s Savor Dallas. Though there may have been some elements that had a different feel from years past, overall it was a great opportunity to try some of our local restaurants, drink fantastic wine and spirits, and for those that had not had an opportunity to experience the arts district, to get a peak inside in a fun environment (art, food and wine…the perfect pairings).
A few selections really stood out over the two days.
I am always on the look out for great bubbly and the opportunity to compare two of my favorites side by side at the Wyly on Friday was fun.
Ruinart Blanc de Blanc- From one of the oldest Champagne houses in France, the Blanc de Blanc is a classic. 100% Chardonnay grapes, the golden sunshine colored bubbly is fresh, fruit filled and refreshing, it begs to be drunk on a summer afternoon with lemon tarts or fresh chevre.
Moet and Chandon Imperial- The first sniff reveals an intensely toasty aroma, this is a blend of the three traditional Champagne grapes of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. A hearty sparkler, and yet still light, approachable and delicate. For me personally, the Moet was my choice. My friend and bubbly loving enthusiast, Ellen Winspear, did not need to go beyond the Ruinart.
Grgich Hills Chardonnay- If you have heard the story of the Californians beating the French in their own game, when the California Chardonnay beat the French at the 1976 Judgement of Paris, you need to try Grgich Hills Chardonnay. In 1973 Mike Grgich was the wine maker for Chateau Montelena, and created a clean, crisp, light and very French style classic Chardonnay for the American palate. After the success of the Judgement of Paris, winemaker Mike Grgich opened his own winery that today is certified organic and Biodynamic. His Chardonnay is lively, with appropriate acidity matched with stone fruit, minerality and citrus flavors.
Black Bart Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah - I love this vineyard, the land produces great, great grapes. The Krupp Brothers create a Syrah filled with berry, spice, smoke and bacon fat…one of the attributes that I love in Syrah but is not always common. Only 700 cases of the 2006 were made of this bold wine so grab one if you can.
The American Airlines display on Saturday was an interesting approach for the airline, with two flight attendants pouring one of their First Class Service wines, the Hall Cabernet Sauvignon. Filled with dark cherry, cola and spice this is representative of why Napa Cabernet is so well respected and so good, Hall consistently shines.
Chateau St Jean Cinq Cepages - I am a fan of Chateau St Jean Chardonnay (the Sonoma Chardonnay is usually around $12-$14 a bottle and is a solid every day Chardonnay.) Their reds are proving to be a bit more interesting and delightfully tasty, as with the Cinq Cepages. A blend of predominantly Cab Sauv (85%), with Cab Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, each varietal is aged separately for 2 years in small French and American Oak barrels and then blended. After blending the wine stays for an additional 6 months in the bottle prior to release, leading to a refined, elegant blend filled with berry and black licorice.
Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon- Sometime you drink a wine that is just like butter….smooth, silky, well rounded and earthy, representing the 7 estate vineyards the grapes are gathered from throughout Napa Valley. Pleasant aromas of sweet spice, currant and cherry, with currant, berry and chocolate flavors, this is a beautiful wine from one of Napa’s oldest wineries.